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Virginia Murray, 25, Fatally Struck While Riding a Divvy Bike in Avondale

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Virginia Murray

Virginia Murray, 25, was fatally struck by a truck driver this morning while riding a Divvy bike at Belmont Avenue and Sacramento Avenue in Avondale, according to police. The case appears to be the first fatal crash involving a bike-share user in the U.S.

At about 9:00 a.m. Murray and the driver of a 2001 Chevrolet flatbed truck were both traveling northbound on Sacramento, according to Officer Kevin Quaid from Police News Affairs. At Belmont, the driver made a right turn to head eastbound, Quaid said. "They collided, causing severe injury to the bicyclist," the crash report reads.

Murray, of the1200 block of North Marion Court in Wicker Park, was rushed to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 9:58 a.m.

So far the driver has received no traffic citations or criminal charges, Quaid said. Major Accidents is investigating. According to ABC, there is security camera video of the crash that shows the driver striking Murray. According to ABC, the driver works for a nearby flooring company AB Hardwood Flooring.

According to Murray's LinkedIn profile, she had been working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the Divvy sponsor, since 2013, most recently as a lead marketing communications consultant. A spokeswoman for the company provided this statement:

Friday's fatal collision is a tragedy and we join Divvy and the Chicago Department of Transportation in offering our condolences to the Murray family. This touches many of us personally, as until a few weeks ago Ginny Murray worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. She was an avid Divvy supporter, a wonderful employee and a special person. She will be missed.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and Divvy provided this statement: "This morning a cyclist was involved in a fatal collision with a truck [driver] on the Northwest Side. Divvy and the City of Chicago express our deepest condolences to the rider's family and loved ones." A source confirmed that this was the first fatality involving a Divvy user since the system launched in June 2013. Almost 8 million rides were taken during that time.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.48.31 PM
Looking north on Sacramento at Belmont. Image: Google Maps

The North American Bikeshare Association released this statement today in response to the fatal crash:  

This morning, a young woman using bikeshare in Chicago was involved in a fatal crash. The North American Bikeshare Association joins Divvy and the Chicago Department of Transportation in expressing our sincere sympathies and deepest condolences to her loved ones and the community impacted by this great loss.

Today marks a tragic milestone we wished would never come. 

This is the first time that we’ve lost someone from our bikeshare community in the eight years that bikeshare has operated in the United States. Today’s loss extends beyond Chicago and into the hearts and homes across the nation.

This appears to be the second case of a bike-share rider being critically or fatally injured in Chicago. On Sunday, November 22, 2014, at about 2:50 a.m. medical student Travis Persaud was struck by two different drivers while riding a Divvy bike on Lake Shore Drive. He suffered a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder, and was placed in a medically induced coma. Family members believed he had been trying to cross Lake Shore Drive on his way home. Persaud’s current medical condition is unknown.

Nationally, bike-share has had a strong safety record. A study released in March by the Mineta Transportation Institute found that there had been zero fatalities among U.S. systems since the first one debuted in Tulsa in 2007. Murray appears to be the person to be fatally injured while using bike-share in the U.S.

In addition to Murray's case, we also received reports today of two bike riders being struck and injured. A male bike courier was hit yesterday by a driver at Grand Avenue and Peshtigo Court in Streeterville yesterday, according to a friend of the man. The messenger was hospitalized and was expected to be released in the near future.

We also received a report of a female bike rider being struck and seriously injured by a driver today around 1 p.m. near Wabansia Avenue and Damen Avenue in Bucktown. Police News Affairs did not have information about either of these injury crashes. We'll provide updates as we learn more about these cases.

Our thoughts are with Murray's family and friends, as well as the crash survivors. Everyone, please be careful out there.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 13 (seven were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 2

Note: When commenting on articles about crashes, please be mindful of the fact that family and friends of the victims may read the post. 

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